Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Although she managed to get some information from You Lan, Chu Yu got ahold of herself from asking too many questions to avoid being exposed. Furthermore, what she found out was just the perspective of a gullible little lady. Chu Yu would have to judge the real situation for herself.
Among the people present, there were two of them who had grabbed Chu Yu's attention. One of them was the one who sat last on the left. That young man looked slightly older than Rong Zhi, probably around the age of 21 or 22 and had a skinny and delicate face. Sadly, the man looked gloomy ever since he entered the courtyard. The loneliness on his face had not faded for even a second since he was there.
His expression looked out of the place in the courtyard full of male companions. He was like a small dark cloud in the sunny blue sky which made him stand out to Chu Yu.
He had not even glanced at her once before she said would take away Rong Zhi's privileges. He was stingy even with his gaze as if taking a glimpse at Chu Yu would stain his eyes.
Chu Yu had watched him after she spoke. Finally, the gloomy young man reacted. He took a glance at her in shock while looking a little scornful and displeased. However, he suppressed himself and said nothing at all. He turned around after a cold gleam flashed through his eyes.
Rong Zhi was the one who surprised Chu Yu the most among all when she saw him raising his glass to make a toast when she said would take away his privilege of freedom. There was no change in his expression at all, let alone stopping what he was doing. He took a small sip of wine elegantly and put the glass down gently. He looked at ease when he turned around to look at Chu Yu and said with a smile, "Sure."
Some people were standing up for him while some took pleasure in his misery. However, he seemed to be unaware of that at all. No, he was aware, but he did not seem to care at all. The calmness that he had was elegant, almost close to luxury at some point. Just like a piece of He Shi jade, one would only be able to find it by chance and not force it out of its scarce hiding place.
He seemed to have the ability to calm and soothe stirred emotions that were thrown at him.
Chu Yu smiled lightly after observing everyone's behavior. "I'm joking. Please don't take it seriously." She did not plan to make major amendments before finding out about Rong Zhi's background. What she said earlier was just to test the waters. Everyone's reaction did not disappoint Chu Yu's expectations though Rong Zhi was the only one who did.
Between this young man's eyebrows, his expression was like a fresh book whereby one would read something new every time the pages were flipped. Until now, Chu Yu could not tell how many pages this book contained.
Liu Se's hanging heart was finally relieved after hearing what Chu Yu said. He was secretly grateful that he had escaped this disaster. At the same time, he was thinking if he should please Rong Zhi later so that he would not hold any grudges against him. Mo Xiang, on the other hand, showed quiet disappointment through his beautifully arched eyebrows.
Meanwhile, Rong Zhi was gentle and calm like the fluffy clouds in the sky. The young man wearing white who stood under the blossoming tree smiled before he responded, "Sure."
It was supposed to be a feast, but Chu Yu was so busy observing everyone while having her mind occupied to the point that she did not eat much. The most she did was spoon food into her mouth but she tasted nothing instead. She would speak to people occasionally to observe their reaction to judge for herself.
Most of the male companions were concerned about Chu Yu's distraction. Some of them were speculating what kind of trick would the princess play and they ate even lesser than she did.
The princess had changed so much since they had last seen her a couple of days ago. Her face did not change at all, but it was her expression that had changed. The young lady, who was sitting on the main seat with her deceiving yet elegant face, no longer had the bewildering smile that seemed tipsy like it always did. Her smiles were light and she had become decisive. Her crystal clear eyes seemed like they could see through everyone whenever she laid eyes on them. She seemed like a completely changed person.
Chu Yu realized the people's suspicion towards her but she did not mind it. She was relieved ever since she found out about her identity and place from her maidservant, You Lan.
As long as she was careful not to leave any tangible evidence, who would suspect her? Who could bring up proof that she was not the real Liu Chuyu? Who dared to question her, a princess whose place was so high up? So what if she was different from who she was before? Who had the right to question her for changing herself for her own happiness?
Pretending to suffer memory loss would be her last straw if there was nothing else that she could defend herself with.
Memory loss was the sure-win weapon that time-travel and reincarnation novels used 90% of the time. However, it was the last resort for Chu Yu whereby she would only use it if she had to.
Using memory loss as an excuse to be innocent and the thought of relying on someone to learn about the world while having someone controlling her life to the point she was unable to take charge of anything that came up was not hers, but Chu Yu's way of life.
However, she had some confidence in Princess Shan Yin's despotic power. She was sure that nobody in this Imperial Residence dared to question her as they wished, maybe except for Rong Zhi.
This young man was the person Chu Yu was most concerned about at the moment. From what Chu Yu thought earlier, all the male companions should be dismissed immediately. Although pretty boys were eye candies, she was not Princess Shan Yin after all. She did not need that and definitely should not hold the boys' futures in her hands.
Through observation, Chu Yu noticed Princess Shan Yin had a special place in her heart for Rong Zhi among all the male companions. Rong Zhi's identity was still a mystery to her. He did not seem like he had been forced to be a male companion. Not only did he not fawn upon Chu Yu, but he also possessed the privilege of freedom in the Imperial Residence. Nevertheless, he was not arrogant. Perhaps the real Princess Shan Yin knew who Rong Zhi really was.
He seemed contented and that was the prime reason Chu Yu thought he was unfathomable.
The feast ended an hour later after she dismissed everyone. However, nobody dared to move before the princess did. Thus, it was awkward when everyone just sat quietly in their seats while looking at each other.
Chu Yu said, "I'd like to stay here for a little while. All of you may leave first."
Nobody moved after she said that. Chu Yu did not understand what was wrong at first, but she came to a realization after giving it a good thought. Princess Shan Yin must have done something in the past such as tricking them in the same way, causing these people to be as cautious as they were now.
Just when she was thinking about how she should explain it to the crowd, someone let out a light chuckle out of nowhere. Chu Yu lifted her head and looked to see Rong Zhi raise his glass at her far away. After finishing the glass of wine, he stood up and left freely.
As Rong Zhi left, the delicate-looking man who was scornful towards Chu Yu followed. People would always follow as long as there was a leader. Soon, most of the people left. However, the two beautiful young men by her sides refused to leave. One seemed pathetic while the other looked charming as both of them gazed at Chu Yu.
Chu Yu felt helpless and thought it was funny. She could not understand why the two young men were fighting for her attention. Unfortunately, she was not Princess Shan Yin and did not want those flirtations to herself. All she could do was chase them away once again. "Please leave first, both of you. I'd like to be alone."
Mo Xiang and Liu Se looked at each other and bowed to Chu Yu carefully after an exchange of resentment with their eyes. They then left dawdling.
The two rows of seats were empty now. Although she had yet to develop any feelings for anyone here, the emptiness when everyone left after the feast came to an end gave her a sense of loss that she could not help feeling.
The Princess's Imperial Residence was wealthy and prosperous and Chu Yu who had just arrived was exploiting her privileges. No matter how many beautiful clothes and sumptuous food there were, they could not fill the void in her chest.
She had sacrificed everything she had in her past life to be here. Although she was a princess who indulged the luxury life, she could not live her life as freely and unrestrained as she used to in her past life.
Nevertheless, Chu Yu did not complain, self-pity or inflict harm upon herself. She was moving on with her life in determination as soon as she woke up.
The tough sense of survival she had in her bones was strong anytime, anywhere. Her dexterity had bloomed even in this uncivilized setting that took place more than 1,000 years ago.
It was calmness, an elegance that came from one's soul. It had nothing to do with materials, one's identity, the world or time.
Chu Yu shook her thoughts off and looked across the Apricot Forest. Her sight passed through the bright red branches and the snowy-white petals. She was looking at the blue sky and white clouds far ahead.
She believed she would be able to fly freely one day.
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